85-Year-Old Injured In U-Turn Accident


Brooke McCroskey of Lakeside was driving east on Highway 260 in east Payson Wednesday afternoon when she saw her boyfriend drive by in the opposite direction. With her 16-year-old friend and her friend's 2-month-old daughter in the car, McCroskey made a U-turn in front of oncoming traffic, slamming into a white Ford pickup truck driven by 85-year-old Viva Mae Grunder of Concho, Ariz.

Grunder was extricated from her pickup and air-lifted to John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix.

Officers said the accident took place at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, when McCroskey's U-turn sent her Jeep crashing to a halt in the westbound lane.

The crash sent Grunder's pickup across two lanes of oncoming traffic. It landed on the north embankment at a 45-degree angle facing Star Valley, Payson Police Officer Mike Mellor said. Due to the truck's precarious angle, rescuers had to be careful removing Grunder from the rocking vehicle.

"After she was finally extricated, the elderly women was flown to the Valley for treatment," said Diamond-Star Fire Chief Gary Hatch. "The other girls involved refused treatment."

The baby, another firefighter said, was uninjured and seemed to sleep through the entire event. Everyone involved in the accident was wearing seat belts.

Grunder was released from Lincoln Hospital Thursday with a broken arm, multiple contusions, bruises and lacerations, Mellor said. McCroskey was cited for failure to yield.

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